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What are clinical trials?


What are clinical trials?

Clinical trials are medical research studies involving people. They help researchers and doctors find out if a new treatment or a new way of providing care:

  • is better than a current one
  • has side effects
  • helps people to feel better
  • is safe.

Why are clinical trials important?

Clinical trials for pancreatic cancer are important because they show us what medicines and healthcare do and don’t work. They can also look at what causes pancreatic cancer, how to prevent it and find better ways to diagnose it.

Clinical trials for pancreatic cancer may include:

  • finding ways to diagnose pancreatic cancer at an earlier stage
  • finding better ways of giving existing treatments – for example, combining different chemotherapy drugs or giving combinations in different ways
  • testing new treatments
  • looking at ways to control the side effects of treatments
  • looking at how best to provide care.

Most pancreatic cancer trials are looking at different treatment options. They aim to find better treatments that can help people live longer and improve the quality of their daily life.

Read about the different types of clinical trials

Find out what taking part in a trial involves

Find pancreatic cancer trials in the UK

Watch our videos of nurses explaining clinical trials

Watch our videos about people’s experiences of taking part in a trial

Published July 2018

Review date July 2021

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